Cody Lee and Shawna Khalafi KVVU
FAA approves second Las Vegas area airport; CEO optimistic for future spaceport
July 2, 2024
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  • A landmark decision from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is paving the way for construction to begin on the Las Vegas Executive Airport.

    The FAA has officially approved the proposed private use airport approximately 31 miles west of Harry Reid International Airport.

    A document from the FAA says the airport is anticipated to accommodate single and multi-engine and roto craft operations. It also states the single runway airport is expected to begin construction in the next six months.

    The Clark County Commission last month unanimously approved the runway for the airport project.

    In addition to the FAA’s approval, the project has secured $10 million in pledges from investors. The project will need another $20 million to meet the first-round funding goal.

    The CEO and developer of the project Rob Lauer said they plan to break ground on the runway for the Las Vegas Executive Airport in three months.

    “That’s the first step, and of course we want to take advantage of F1 and all the events where there’s not enough room for the planes to come in, so we plan to have a facility there for those private jets.”

    He said phase two of the project will include building a terminal and hangars for those private jets. Then, phase three would be adding a hotel and casino.

    However, Lauer said future plans for the space reach far higher than Earth’s atmosphere.

    He said the FAA’s approval for the airport is also a big step toward the realization of a spaceport in Las Vegas.

    “The FAA’s approval is a monumental step forward for the Las Vegas Executive Airport and the broader vision of the Las Vegas Spaceport,” he said. “We are energized by the support we’ve received and are eager to continue this journey. This is a major step toward creating a space economy that will lead to thousands of high-paying jobs in our community, our county, and our state.”

    “Later this summer, we’ll be starting our plans for the spaceport, filing our application to build a spaceport here in Las Vegas, and that will take about two years through the FAA’s spaceport division,” Lauer said during an interview with FOX5 Tuesday.

    Lauer said the spaceport would include a space pilot school, a post-high school STEM academy with space vehicle simulators and a takeoff and landing mechanism for space planes, not rockets.

    “We would be seeking a license for horizontal launch vehicles versus vertical launch rockets,” he said.

    Lauer anticipates private space planes will become much more accessible in the coming years and says a spaceport here would make Las Vegas a hub for space tourism.

    “They’ll be able to go to the moon, they’ll be able to go to space stations, they’ll be able to go fully into space, bring satellites into space, people into space. They’re going to change the world as we know it. As much as the jet airline changed the world, these space planes are going to change the world,” said Lauer.